Year In Review
was a very good hiking year.
After two consecutive years with over 90 trips, 900 miles, and 250,000'
of elevation gain I purposely slowed down just a little. I did get in
18 mid week after work hikes with Gary, John, and David. Most required
headlamps. They not only break up the work week, they also add about 7
miles and 2400' on average. I was able to take off more weekend days
and still get in a lot of trips. Burnout is always a fear. I have
managed to keep up my regular hiking for 32 1/2 years now without
burning out. Easing off a little helps a lot in the long run.
I did not get in as many backpacking trips as hoped. Still, the ones I
did were excellent. Three nights in the Pasayten was the longest. The
two night Goat Rocks trip covered 35 miles with almost 10,000' of gain.
On the Bald Eagle Trail Kim and I ended up camping in the middle of the
trail by necessity. Kim and I also rode bikes down the Suiattle River
Road again for a camp and hike up Sulphur Mountain. The big
disappointment was canceling my backpacking trip to the White Cloud
Mountains in central Idaho for the second year in a row. Another bad
fire caused a last minute cancellation once again.
Another big snow year meant no early snow free hikes. The wildflower
show was pretty good this year. I surpassed my annual goal of 10 new
trails with 13 this year. I had 35 solo trips and 50 with other folks.
That is less solo than in quite a few years. I hope to hike as often as
possible each year but do not set any minimums. Anything over 600 miles
is great. 200,000' of gain is terrific. As it works out I have gone
over 700 miles 9 years in a row and over 200.000' of gain 11 years in a
row. One goal I do aim for is at least 10,000' of gain each
December brought me to an even 100 months in a row dating back to
September 2005. I did not have a big mileage month. For the first time
in 5 years I did not hike 100 miles in any month. After 32 years of
logging my hikes I have lots of statistics. My final totals were 85
trips, 809 miles, and 220,000' of elevation gain. In sum, it was a
on the trails. Now onto a month by month recap and my top ten trips.
I started the year with an icy hike up Mt. Si. The old trail was closed
due to a plane crash. I hiked up Mt.
Washington during an inversion.
20 degrees warmer on top. Puget
Sound was buried under low clouds. Three hikes on Tiger Mountain
rounded out the month. I spend a week in Mexico and missed two full
weekends. Only 41 miles with 13,600' of gain.
The month began with a group snowshoe hike up Dixie
Dixie is between Mt. Si and Mt. Teneriffe. I had not yet been up it.
Lots of snow and minimal visibility from the top. Another big group for
a snowshoe ascent of Welldiggers
Ass near Stevens Pass. My second
ascent. I checked out the road to
trail conversion of the Granite
Creek Road. Deep snow before
Granite Lakes turned me back even with
snowshoes. One more group snowshoe to Red
near Salmon La Sac. Three tries and no clear views once again.
easy day hike took Kim, Jon, and I to the Lime
Several close in and several headlamp hikes rounded out a very good
February. 74 miles with 21,400' of gain.
March is usually a below average month. This year was an exception. I
had the most trips, most miles, and second highest elevation gain. A
snowshoe trip to Teanaway
Butte reminded me just what a
long road walk that is. We had
a beautiful sunny day for a snowshoe trip to Mazama
Ridge. A short but very sweet
trip. By mid month on Squak Mountain
we finished a headlamp hike without needing headlamps. A trip up East
Tiger Mountain was notable for
all the rime ice up high and
blooming skunk cabbage down low. My one cross county ski trip was on
another sunny day at Amabilis
Mountain. John joined me for my
second ascent of West
Granite Mountain. A fun route
that avoids the crowds on main
Granite. I finished the month with my first trip on the new Pratt
River Connector trail. Exploring
for a possible trip on the long
abandoned Pratt Valley trail. 85 miles with 22,200' of gain.
I returned to the Pratt
Connector trail with Kim. This
time there was fresh snow. Last year
I went to Squak Mountain and hiked with a race going on. This year I
managed to return on the day of the race. Hard to believe I hit it two
years in a row. Gwen convinced me to head east for early spring
My first visit to Sauer
was filled with blooming wildflowers. I finished the month with a tour
of the east side of Tiger
Mountain. No crowds over there.
59 miles with 14,000' of gain.
I hiked up to Lake
22 on a warm spring day. Bare
until near the lake then 5 feet of
snow. Lots of avalanches coming down behind the lake. Janet and I
east to Black
Canyon. 84 degrees was the
warmest day of the year so
far. Good wildflowers. Then came Keystone
Point. I survived. That was a
major accomplishment. The hike is next to the Columbia River north of
Wenatchee. Steep as can be. No shade all day. 90 degrees. Never again.
The month ended with my second visit to Ingalls
Creek. Excellent wildflowers
once again. 52 miles with 14,400' of gain.
The month began with an unusual trip. I won a contest and was paid to
hike up Mt.
Si and give out Grape Nuts
cereal. They supported Jim Whittaker's first American to ascend Mt.
Everest expedition. This marked the 50th anniversary. Gwen agreed to
come along as my Sherpa. We counted 500 hikers. Gary, John, and I went
to Mt. Rainier to snowshoe up Tamanos
Mountain. A beautiful sunny day.
I hiked to Tuscohatchie
Lake and scouted near Pratt Lake
for the upper end of the long abandoned Pratt River Trail. I found it
and it was in good shape. After 11 years I made another hike up Mt.
Aix. Gwen joined me. A long
drive and a long day. Near total solitude and a fun scramble summit. I
made my annual hike into Rainbow
Lake and dropped down to Blazer
Lake too. The old route to Blazer is in good shape for another year. 79
miles and a yearly best of 26,500' of gain.
of July weekend I joined Janet and Gwen on another trip to Horseshoe
Basin in the Pasayten. A four
day backpack with one totally new trail and summit. Gwen, Kim, and I
headed for a Highway 2 hike I had never done. Up to Fortune
Ponds. Near total solitude once
again. Great forest, ponds, and we passed through "Fort Ass". Check the
trip report for an explanation. I hiked a new trail for the third trip
in a row as Kim and I did an overnight backpack on the Bald
Eagle Trail. Trail was blocked
by steep snow and we camped on the trail. The only flat spot
for miles. Near total solitude once again. The month ended with a
fourth new trail in five trips. I have been to Spray
Park before but never a loop
trip via Knapsack Pass. The wildflowers were spectacular. Some very
nice trips but I was not out as much as in most July's. 75 miles with
16,300' of gain.
Summer in the Cascades. Kim and I did another loop via Melakwa
and Pratt Lakes. We had a short drive to close the loop. Kim and I
repeated a trip from 2007. We biked the Suiattle River Road and camped
at the end. Day two we hiked up Sulphur Mountain and biked out. Some
clouds but much better summit views this time. Again, we saw nobody on
the trail. 4700' was my biggest one day gain of the year. Another
outstanding backpacking trip with Gary and John. We covered 35 miles
with 9500' of gain in three days in the Goat
Rocks. It was very warm.
Spectacular views from Old Snowy and another new trail section. 64
miles with 18,100' of gain.
Gwen joined me for a near annual event. We scrambled up Bean
Peak in the Teanaway. It was one
of only three trips off the NF Teanaway Road this year. Great summit
views, near total solitude, and a loop trip down Beverly Creek. Now we
finally did the trip I spent several earlier hikes scouting out. A one
way trip from I-90 to the MF Snoqualmie via the old Pratt
River Trail. Kim and Gwen joined
me and we did a key exchange with Monty. A lot of history on a long
abandoned trail so close to Seattle. The Forest Service has built the
Pratt Connector along the MF and has signed the upper end at Pratt
Lake. It may not be abandoned much longer. I checked the possibility of
fording the MF back in the late 1980s to reach the Pratt Valley. It was
fun to finally hike a
trail I wanted to visit for 25 years. A very temporary opening of the
Circle Creek Road gave Kim, Gwen, and I a chance to day hike to Circle
Peak. My second visit and the
first time to the old lookout site on the real summit. The month closed
with my first headlamp hike of the fall to Bandera
Mountain. 70 miles with 16,900'
The beginning of October brought more than a foot of snow on the Kendall
Katwalk. Lots of other folks
hiked up that day. Mid month Gary and I headed to Ingalls
Lake for the annual larch
viewing hike. The trees were golden but not as bright as other years.
We had snow in the basin. During an inversion I headed north to
Blanchard Hill and Oyster
Dome for a loop trip. I climbed
above the clouds into a sunny day. Back at the car it was dark and
gray. Another inversion day took us to the Walt Bailey Trail and Bald
Mountain. Sunny and warm above
the dark haze below. I went back to the Granite Lakes road/trail
conversion. No snow this time. I took the shortcut from the MF and
continued on for my first visit to Thompson
Lake. I had looked down on it
before it was fun to finally reach it. 64 miles with 19,300' of gain.
Mid November is usually late to reach Goat
Lake but Kim and I had only a
little snow on the trail near the lake. Great mushrooms which I found
on nearly every fall hike. Janet and I had another loop hike to Oyster
Dome. Really fantastic mushrooms
all along the trail. The last memorable trip of the month was my first
visit to Skyline
Lake near Stevens Pass. Snowshoes needed. Great
views from the ridge top. A very sunny November day. Four
more close to town hikes rounded out the month. 68 miles with 17,900'
I returned to Lake
22 with Gwen. Thermometer read 5
degrees at the lake. The second coldest trip I have ever done.
extremely cold with ice all over the trail. I had a good loop trip to Wallace
Lake and Falls. I saw very few
people for most of the day. I had a high elevation gain day on Tiger
Mountain with a 10 mile and 3600' gained loop. Another very cold day.
The year ended with two more Tiger Mountain trips. Up East
Tiger and Sally's Summit and
then my annual New
Years Eve Tiger Hike. Gary,
John, and I did a one way trip on the south side of the mountain. A new
summit and trail section for me. That marked my 30 NYE hike on Tiger in
31 years. That wrapped up another fine year of
hiking. 78 miles with 19,400' of gain.
My Top 10 Trips
03. Pratt River Trail
07. Ingalls Lake